This 2024 Denver Broncos draft is crucial for many people individually, and the organization on the whole.

Many openly wonder how GM George Paton still has his position after the Russell Wilson debacle making this draft key for him. For head coach Sean Payton going into his second season, the team needs to start showing improvement in a hurry. And Broncos Country is tired of all the losing; the team needs to win ASAP.

With the NFL Draft right around the corner, the Denver Broncos have many open positions to fill, and not a great deal of draft capital. That’s certainly not an ideal scenario for Paton and Payton.

But if they do it well, the decision-makers could fill a huge need, and still get a quarterback on Day 2.

This Broncos draft could set the team up for the future, or hold them back

Many fans in Broncos Country want to see the team use their first-round pick on a quarterback. The problem is, Denver has the No. 12 pick and the top-4 quarterbacks are likely to be gone at that point.

And because they don’t have a second-round pick—it was traded to New Orleans to hire Payton—the Broncos don’t have enough draft capital to realistically move up, either.

Caleb Williams will go No. 1, and then Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels could possibly go Nos. 2 and 3. Meanwhile, the hype train on J.J. McCarthy has built up steam all offseason and he could go in the top-6 picks, too.

That means, if Paton and Payton force it, they’d be reaching for guys like Bo Nix or Michael Penix at 12. If the offensive master and play-caller Sean Payton is in love with, say, Nix then trading down to acquire another pick would be wonderful.

Even better yet, this Broncos draft could be won by taking a great player at 12, and still landing a quarterback at No. 76.

Denver should take a tackle, EDGE, or cornerback in the first round

The good news about four quarterbacks being taken before the Broncos can pick is other players will fall into their lap.

Because the team is in rebuild mode, there are a ton of positions with needs. Offensive tackle, EDGE, cornerback, and quarterback are the chief ones. Then tight end, linebacker, and wide receiver are in the second tier of needs.

Let’s check out some possibilities for the orange and blue at 12:

Offensive Tackle

Taliese Fauga is the best tackle prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He’s got outstanding size at 6’6″ and 324 pounds and plays with aggression. However, he lines up at right tackle and some scouts think he may need to be moved inside to guard.

Joe Alt out of Notre Dame is another highly-touted tackle and he’s actually being compared to Broncos right tackle Mike McGlinchey, ironically. One AFC personnel executive actually didn’t like the McGlinchey comparison on, and said Alt reminds him more of Eric Fisher, a great compliment. It’s possible, if not likely, that both Fauga and Alt are gone by 12, though.

That leaves Troy Fautanu, who could be there for Denver if they like him. At 6’4″ and 312 pounds, he has a great makeup to be a longtime starter in the NFL. However, he may take a few years to become starting quality, unlike the other two.


Dallas Turner, Jared Verse, and Laiatu Tatu are the top-3 edge rushers in this year’s class, and any one of them would be a great pick at 12.

Turner has great length, speed, and athleticism. He knows how to get around the edge and rack up hurries and sacks, but needs to polish his technique some. A lot of those same superlatives can be said of Verse, who’s tall for an EDGE at 6’4″. Verse enjoyed 18 sacks the last two years, while Turner had 14 over that timespan. Latu’s even taller, at 6’5″ and his comparison on is T.J. Watt. Considering Watt has been arguably the best defender in the league in recent years, that’s a huge compliment. They also say Latu is a boom-or-bust player, while both Verse and Turner are Year 1 starters.


At corner, Terrion Arnold and Quinyon Mitchell are the two best in the class. Arnold played his college ball at Alabama and comes in at 6’0″ and 189 pounds. He’s being compared to Marshon Lattimore of the Saints, a solid compliment. Mitchell played at the smaller Toledo and also comes in at 6’0″, which is great size for a corner. He’s much faster than Arnold, running a 4.33 40-yard dash (compared to 4.5 of Arnold). Mel Kiper picked Mitchell to the Broncos at No. 12 today.

If the Broncos draft a cornerback, and they keep Pat Surtain II after his rookie deal, Denver will likely have an elite secondary for years to come.

After filling a need, the Broncos can still grab a QB in Round 3

Spencer Rattler is the man the Broncos should target at quarterback in this year’s draft.

Rattler is the seventh-best quarterback on most draft analysts’ boards, behind Nix (5) and Penix (6). And he’s likely to fall right around where Denver’s next draft pick is, at No. 76.

OK, Rattler isn’t the amazing prospect the top-4 QBs are, and not even as special as Nix or Penix. At 6’0″, he’s a bit undersized to be a pocket passer in the NFL today. He’s also not that athletically gifted in terms of running and making plays off schedule. Add on that, his lack of elite arm talent, and one can see why he’s being projected to Round 3.

But, if anyone can get the most out of him, it’s Sean Payton.

It wasn’t pretty, but when he had to, Payton was able to turn Taysom Hill into a passer with the Saints. And keep in mind that Drew Brees was only 5’11” tall, too.

He also has a great throwing motion and was the Senior Bowl MVP:

Taking the best player available in Round 1 and then taking Rattler in Round 3 satisfies a lot of needs for the Broncos. They will fill a void at a key position, and then Payton will at least have a rookie to work with and test.

Speaking of testing, Rattler said Denver’s test at the NFL Combine was the hardest:

The first round of the NFL Draft takes place on Thursday, April 25 at 6 p.m. MDT. And that Monday, the 22nd, the team unveils their new uniforms.